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TSA Week in Review: July 3rd - 9th: 78 Firearms Discovered Last Week in Carry-on Bags (62 Loaded)

Fri, 2017-07-14 21:38
TSA discovered 78 firearms over the last week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 78 firearms discovered, 62 were loaded and 32 had a round chambered. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers bringing firearms to the checkpoint can be arrested and fined up to $11,000. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms in checked baggage. All of the firearms pictured were discovered over the last week. See complete lists below.From the left, these items were discovered in carry-on bags at BNA, ABQ, CHS, BUR and BNA . While all knives are prohibited in carry-on bags, they may be packed in checked baggage.In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly in carry-on bags, our officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, stun guns, small pocketknives and many other prohibited items too numerous to note.*In order to provide a timely weekly update, this data is compiled from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly from what is reported in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will be actual numbers and not estimates.Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk...

TSA on the Job: Innovation Task Force Manager

Mon, 2017-07-10 16:55
As a branch manager with TSA’s Innovation Task Force, I work with a great team to identify security challenges at an airport or transportation hub. We take our findings to our industry partners and ask what they can create to address these challenges. We then work closely with them to test, refine, analyze, and eventually deploy new technologies. These innovations improve the passenger experience, but more importantly, also enhance our security efforts. For example, there are more than 65 automated screening lanes currently deployed at five airports across the nation. The lanes feature multiple divesting stations for a better travel experience, and automated bin return and bag diversion features that allow our officers to concentrate strictly on security – it’s a “win” for everyone. In developing new technologies, the passenger is always kept in mind. Travelers are from all walks of life, with different needs, shapes and sizes. Getting our technologies from our state-of-the art testing facility into our airports for demonstrations is critical in helping us collect real-world data on how passengers interact with the technology. These demonstrations also help us identify efficiencies. A great example of this is the Biometric Authentication Technology pilot. Biometric authentication technology reads a passenger’s fingerprints as a way to authenticate their identity and also serves as their boarding pass. In our findings we realized that one of the systems works better when...

TSA Week in Review - 82 Firearms Discovered Last Week in Carry-on Bags (73 Loaded)

Fri, 2017-07-07 16:32
TSA discovered 82 firearms over the last week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 82 firearms discovered, 73 were loaded and 27 had a round chambered. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers bringing firearms to the checkpoint can be arrested and fined up to $11,000. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms in checked baggage. All of the firearms pictured were discovered over the last week. See complete lists below.In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly in carry-on bags, our officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, stun guns, small pocketknives and many other prohibited items too numerous to note.*In order to provide a timely weekly update, this data is compiled from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly from what is reported in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will be actual numbers and not estimates.Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down and a passenger...

TSA Week in Review: June 19th - 25th - 59 Firearms and More

Thu, 2017-06-29 07:23
TSA discovered 59 firearms over the last week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 59 firearms discovered, 50 were loaded and 15 had a round chambered. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers bringing firearms to the checkpoint can be arrested and fined up to $11,000. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms in checked baggage. All of the firearms pictured were discovered over the last week. See complete lists below.These inert blasting caps (detonators) were discovered in a carry-on bag at Houston (IAH). We don’t know items are inert until our explosives professionals take a closer look, and that takes time and slows down the line. It can even lead to a complete shutdown and evacuation. Real, inert, or anything resembling explosives are prohibited in both carry-on and checked baggage.All of these fireworks were discovered in checked and carry-on bags last week at airports around the nation. Fireworks and firecrackers are prohibited altogether.Clockwise from the top, these knives (etc.) were discovered in carry-on bags at SJC, CLE, BUR, IAH, DTW, BHM, MEM, IAH, DEN, DTW & SFO. While all knives are prohibited in carry-on bags, they may be packed in checked baggage.In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly in carry-on bags, our officers also regularly find firearm...

Let’s Close the Book on Book Screening Rumors

Wed, 2017-06-28 15:09
Do you have to remove books from your carry-on bags prior to sending your bag through the X-ray?Short answer: NoLonger answer (but still pretty short): You know us… We’re always testing procedures to help stay ahead of our adversaries. We were testing the removal of books at two airport locations and the testing ran its course. We’re no longer testing and have no intentions of instituting those procedures.So, with that out of the way, you might be wondering why we were interested in books. Well, our adversaries seem to know every trick in the book when it comes to concealing dangerous items, and books have been used in the past to conceal prohibited items. We weren’t judging your books by their covers, just making sure nothing dangerous was inside.Occasionally, our officers may recommend passengers remove items such as heavy, glossy programs during a special event with a lot of travelers such as Super Bowl programs.If a bag needs to be opened by a TSA officer, we encourage any passenger with privacy concerns to request private screening.Follow @TSA on Twitter and Instagram!Bob Burns TSA Social Media

TSA Week in Review June 12th - 18th: 73 Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Bags

Thu, 2017-06-22 11:51
TSA discovered 73 firearms over the last week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 73 firearms discovered, 61 were loaded and 20 had a round chambered. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers bringing firearms to the checkpoint can be arrested and fined up to $11,000. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms in checked baggage. All of the firearms pictured were discovered over the last week. See complete lists below.Two 20-pound canisters of propane were discovered in a checked bag at Anchorage (ANC). Propane is strictly prohibited altogether due to its propensity to explode.These inert grenades were discovered at (L-R) Atlanta (ATL) and Seattle (SEA). We don’t know grenades are inert until our explosives professionals take a closer look, and that takes time and slows down the line. It can even lead to a complete shutdown and evacuation. Real, inert, or anything resembling a grenade is prohibited in both carry-on and checked baggage.Clockwise top to bottom, these knives were discovered in carry-on bags at RNO, ORD, BHM, BOI, ACY, LAX, DTW, ORD, DEN, DEN, ATL, DSM & BUR. While all knives are prohibited in carry-on bags, they may be packed in checked baggage.In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly in carry-on bags, our officers also regularly find firearm components,...

TSA Week in Review - June 5th - 11th: 75 Firearms, Concealed Firearm, Inert 40mm Grenades and More

Thu, 2017-06-15 10:49
TSA discovered 75 firearms over the last week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 75 firearms discovered, 60 were loaded and 18 had a round chambered. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers bringing firearms to the checkpoint can be arrested and fined up to $11,000. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms in checked baggage. All of the firearms pictured were discovered over the last week. See complete lists below.When you’re traveling through airports, you only really scratch the surface of what you see in regards to TSA operations. There’s so much going on behind the scenes. For example, Birmingham, Alabama (BHM) our officers discovered four 40mm grenades in a tactical vest inside a checked bag. A TSA explosives specialist was called to scene and thankfully cleared the items as inert. In this case, only the baggage screening area was evacuated resulting in a 10-minute halt on baggage screening locations. At other times inert explosives have led to evacuations resulting in multiple lengthy delays. By packing inert or replica explosives, you not only stand the chance of getting yourself in hot water, but you are also possibly impacting scores of your fellow travelers. In case you were wondering, we have found live grenades in the past.This grenade creature was discovered in a carry-on bag at...

Working to Protect You: Innovation Task Force

Mon, 2017-06-12 09:11
It’s no secret that the threat from terrorism is continuously evolving and imaginative. That’s why TSA is working aggressively and creatively to counter terrorist operations and protect the nation’s transportation systems.With attacks taking place around the world, we knew we had to accelerate our efforts to make advances in security technology by working better and faster with industry and private vendors. We needed to create an environment that is continuously reimagining the security experience -- finding ways to enhance security while ensuring a positive travel experience.A little over a year ago, TSA initiated a public-private partnership to harness the ingenuity and entrepreneurial of both sectors and help meet our mission to protect the traveling public. We did so by establishing the Innovation Task Force to help identify and pilot exceptional security technologies, even those that are still on the drawing board.In partnership with the airlines and airport authorities, we began deploying automated screening lanes, at some of our highest volume airports last year, with more planned this year. These lanes improve security effectiveness and increase operational efficiencies by moving lines faster and reducing crowding at checkpoints. Additionally, we’re working on piloting computed tomography technology, which uses 3D imaging to screen bags at security checkpoints, and we are also testing the use of biometrics to increase awareness of who passengers are and how and when...

TSA Two Weeks in Review May 22nd - June 4th: Welcome to Our New Blog

Thu, 2017-06-08 17:27
TSA discovered 150 firearms over the last two weeks in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 150 firearms discovered, 128 were loaded and 53 had a round chambered. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers bringing firearms to the checkpoint can be arrested and fined up to $11,000. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms in checked baggage. All of the firearms pictured were discovered over the last two weeks. See complete lists below.The blog has been silent for a couple of weeks while its been migrating to its new home. Comments are now enabled again and the old blog will redirect to this one.One inert grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Nashville (BNA) and two were discovered in checked bags at Des Moines (DSM) and Syracuse (SYR). We don’t know grenades are inert until our explosives professionals take a closer look, and that takes time and slows down the line. It can even lead to a complete shutdown and evacuation.Top - Bottom / L - R: These knives were discovered in carry-on bags at SBP, SAV, RIC, LAX, IAH, ABQ, CLE, DTW, BUF, BUR, FAI, SAT and ELP. While all knives are prohibited in carry-on bags, they may be packed in checked baggage.Gun powder is never permitted on an aircraft. There were two instances this week where travelers packed gun powder in their checked bags. Five 1-pound...

TSA Week in Review May 15th - 21st: Record 82 Firearms Discovered Last Week

Thu, 2017-05-25 17:58
TSA discovered a record 82 firearms last week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 82 firearms discovered, 66 were loaded and 18 had a round chambered. The previous record of 81 firearms was set in August of 2016 and tied in March of 2017. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers bringing firearms to the checkpoint can be arrested and fined up to $11,000. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms in checked baggage. All of the firearms pictured were discovered last week. See a complete list below. Clockwise from the top, these knives were discovered in carry-on bags at LAS, DTW, CRW, DTW, IAH, SBA and SFO. While all knives are prohibited in carry-on bags, they may be packed in checked baggage. This cane sword was discovered in a passenger’s carry-on property at the Valley International Airport (HRL). All knives and swords are prohibited in carry-on bags and concealed items can lead to fines and arrest. Many don’t even know there is sword in their cane. If you’re using a secondhand cane, just give it a twist and a pull at the handle to make sure you don’t have a sword cane. This pocket knife was discovered concealed inside of a pill bottle at Burlington (BTV). All of these items were discovered inside a traveler’s carry-on bag at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) In addition to all of the other...

TSA’s 2017 Summer Travel Tips

Thu, 2017-05-25 14:16
It’s almost time to take the skies for those long awaited summer vacations. Below are tips and links to information on some of the most common travel-related questions. It’s best to be prepared before arriving at the checkpoint and makes things far less stressful when you arrive early and prepared. 1. Vacation Gear Via Giphy Scuba Diving: Traveling with diving gear this spring? Read about tips on how to pack your scuba gear from our resident diving expert. Camping, Backpacking, or Fishing: If you’re heading to the great outdoors, be sure to check out this post for tips on traveling with camping and fishing gear. Via Giphy Insect Repellents: They are permitted in your carry-on bag and checked baggage. The liquid limits apply when carrying these in your carry-on bags. Dry Ice: Did you know that you can take dry ice in your carry-on or in checked baggage? Read about traveling with dry ice to keep your favorite vittles preserved. Batteries: You can’t go anywhere without some kind of battery these days. Learn about what types of batteries you can travel with. Sporting Goods: Golf clubs, baseball bats (including the mini slugger bats), cricket bats, bows and arrows, hockey sticks, scuba knives, spear guns, etc., are all prohibited from being carried into the cabin of the plane. However, you can place them in your checked baggage. Baggage Locks: Want to lock your checked baggage? Be sure to read about TSA recognized locks. 2. Packing your carry-on bags Via Giphy Shaving Razors: In...

TSA’s 2017 Summer Travel Tips

Thu, 2017-05-25 14:16

TSA Week in Review May 8th - 14th: 76 Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Bags Last Week

Wed, 2017-05-17 13:58
TSA discovered 76 firearms last week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 76 firearms discovered, 64 were loaded and 20 had a round chambered. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers bringing firearms to the checkpoint can be arrested and fined up to $11,000. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms in checked baggage. All of the firearms pictured were discovered last week. See a complete list below.Two inert grenades were discovered in a checked bag at McAllen (MFE) causing a 1hr 18min delay in the checked baggage screening area. We don’t know grenades are inert until our explosives professionals take a closer look, and that takes time and slows down the line. It can even lead to a complete shutdown and evacuation.From left to right, these items were discovered in carry-on bags at CLE, FAI, LGA and DCA. While all knives are prohibited in carry-on bags, they may be packed in checked baggage.TSA discovered 76 firearms last week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 76 firearms discovered, 64 were loaded and 20 had a round chambered.In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly in carry-on bags, our officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, stun guns, small pocketknives...

TSA Week in Review May 1st - 7th: 61 Firearms, Gun Powder, Concealed Weapons, Inert Explosives and More

Wed, 2017-05-10 16:36
TSA discovered 61 firearms last week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 61 firearms discovered, 52 were loaded and 23 had a round chambered. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers bringing firearms to the checkpoint can be arrested and fined up to $11,000. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms in checked baggage. All of the firearms pictured were discovered last week. See a complete list below. This inert explosives training device was discovered in the carry-on bag of a Columbia (CAE) traveler. Even if not real, anything resembling an explosive is prohibited from travel all together. We don’t know explosives are inert until our explosives professionals take a closer look, and that takes time and slows down the line. It can even lead to a complete shutdown and evacuation. A one-pound container of smokeless gun powder was discovered in a checked bag at Anchorage (ANC). While ammunition is permitted in checked bags when packed properly, containers of gun powder are prohibited altogether from being brought on the aircraft. Two live smoke grenades were discovered in a checked bag at Atlanta (ATL). Smoke grenades are prohibited from both carry-on and checked bags. These inert grenades were discovered in a carry-on bag at Honolulu (HNL). Anything resembling a grenade is prohibited...

TSA on the Job: Systems Integration Communications Liaison

Tue, 2017-05-09 09:34
You may not know this, but near the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is the Transportation Security Administration Systems Integration Facility. This facility is an impressive testing facility dedicated to the testing and evaluation of TSA security screening equipment and processes. Formerly a TSA officer at the airport, I am now the program specialist and event coordinator at the facility, I am responsible for coordinating and conducting specialized tours of the facility and providing demonstrations of emerging technology to employees and staff as well as our aviation industry partners. It’s very important that our many audiences understand not only what technologies TSA is developing, but understanding the process of how a piece of security screening equipment moves from development to being deployed at nearly 440 airports. Whether it’s a new employee taking a tour, or a vendor looking to partner with us, or a government official seeking a better understanding of how screening equipment works, I strive to provide a customized and informative summary of what the many engineers and scientists who work in this facility do. One of the more unique and very fulfilling aspects of my job is that I often get to work with foreign dignitaries and aviation partners including delegations from the Netherlands, Israel, China, Thailand, Brazil, Aruba, and Canada. It’s interactions like these that have increased my appreciation of the importance of partnerships inside and outside...

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